Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mokelumne Granola Bars

I made this using a recipe idea from Alter Eco Foods. I decided to name the recipe after the great camping trip I took to the Mokelumne Wilderness with a fun group of people. Photo pending.

3 cups regular Gluten Free oats (not the quick cooking kind)
½ cup uncooked quinoa (I like red quinoa, but the color won't make a difference)
½ cup chia seeds
1/3 cup flax seeds ground
4 Tablespoons maca powder
1 ½ cup dried fruit (I used a mix of diced dates, golden and black raisins)
3/4 cup sunflower seeds - roasted and lightly salted
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon sea salt
 ¼ cup coconut oil (warmed until it is liquid)
½ cup honey

First toast the oats and seeds. I start with the chia seeds and dry roast them in a heavy pan (iron skillet) until they start to pop and smell toasty. Then I do the same with the 3 cups of oats, toasting half the amount at a time. This can also be done in a 350 degree oven with a cookie sheet, but be sure to keep an eye on it and stir regularly. Then I will dry roast the flax seed powder, and once it is hot and just beginning to color, I add the maca powder. Now maca may clump when it roasts so once it's out of the pan I might have to run it through a seive. Also it toasts very quickly and that's why I add it to the flax so it's less likely to burn. Add the fruit, sunflower seeds, cinnamon and sea salt and blend to combine. First drizzle the coconut oil into the mix and then the honey. The honey should be just enough to loosely clump together. Other sugary syrups could be used instead of honey, such as brown rice syrup, golden syrup, or agave nectar. If you don't wish to use coconut oil, I would suggest ghee.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13-inch pan with parchment and grease the sides and parchment. This will help lift the bars from the pan, so over running 2 edges will help as handles. Pour in the granola mixture and press down using slightly wet hands (so honey won't stick). Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before lifting from pan. Cool another 5 minutes and cut into bars. Note: the bars can be crumbly so when you cut them apart, make them no less than 1.5 inches in width. Store in an airtight container.

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